Map loading...

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive jeddah

Welcome to Saudi Arabia!Welcome to Saudi Arabia!

Upon arrival in Jeddah, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for your overnight.

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
Red Sea Palace (or similar)

Day 2: jeddah

See the Nasif House in JeddahSee the Nasif House in Jeddah

Jeddah, located on the coast of the Red Sea, is the major urban center of Western Saudi Arabia. It is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital of Riyadh, and is considered the most open city in the country. Jeddah is the gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, and is one of the country's primary resort towns. Fishing and seafood dominate the food culture. 

This morning, visit some of the old Ottoman houses, mostly constructed from coral and reinforced with wood so that beams crisscross the interior walls. You'll see the most beautiful and well-known of these—the Nasif House—which was built during the 1850s by the well-known Nasif Family, one of the most influential trading families in the history of Jeddah. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the house was one of the most important buildings in Jeddah. It was here that King Abdul Aziz spent his first night in Jeddah, as the guest of Mohammed Nasif, after he led his victorious army into the capital of the Western Province.

Next, visit Altaybat International City for Sciences and Knowledge, a very beautiful museum that houses endless collections of arts, ethnography and archeology artifacts. After a lunch at a local restaurant, continue with a visit to the Abdul Rauf Khalil Art Museum, and a stop at the corniche of Jeddah (sea-side promenade), a major attraction that acts as a gathering place for locals as well as an open air museum displaying an array of modern sculptures.

Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Red Sea Palace (or similar)

Day 3: fly to jazan

Drive through the Fifa MountainsDrive through the Fifa Mountains

In the morning, head to the airport for your flight to Jazan, where upon arrival you'll enjoy a scenic drive through the al Fifa Mountains via a 4x4 vehicle.

This mountainous region, which has many nicknames including "Heavens of the Earth," is known to charm visitors with its stunning landscape and fertile, green flora—one of the most fertile places in all of Saudi Arabia. Mountains range in height from 3,000 to 6,500 feet, and stretch for many miles. They are especially attractive to photographers who will appreciate their greenery shrouded with fog, creating great landscape photo opportunities. 

After, return to Jazan which is situated in the southwestern region of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, a stones throw away form the border of Yemen. Like Jeddah, it is situated on the Red Sea Coast. 

Visit the Heritage Village, a refurbished village that features the heritage, culture, lifestyle, and cuisine of the people from 13 regions of the Jazan Province. The village combines the authenticity of traditions with the nobility of the present. Visitors can experience the handicrafts section, which displays a variety of handmade items. 

After, enjoy dinner and a good night's sleep at your hotel.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Radison Blu (or similar)

Day 4: day trip to farasan islands

Pristine coastline of the islandsPristine coastline of the islands

Today, depart early via ferry for a full-day visit to the Farasan Islands. The islands—over 100 altogether—make up Saudi Arabia's first natural protected area. This is a popular getaway spot for locals, with pristine beaches everywhere you look. The islands serve as a breeding ground for a large number of migratory birds, and are a nature reserve for Arabian gazelles.

In the late afternoon, return to Jazan for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Radison Blu (or similar)

Day 5: drive to abha

Purchase handicrafts at the marketPurchase handicrafts at the market

Depart from Jazan for a three-hour drive to Abha. On arrival, visit the market where you can purchase local handicrafts. Also spend time at the nearby Al-Muftaha village, where you can see the stone houses common in this region.

In the afternoon, return to your hotel for your overnight. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Abha Palace (or similar)

Day 6: abha

Inside a traditional Saudi homeInside a traditional Saudi home

Today is a full day of exploring the region around Abha, with visits to Khamis Mushayt and the Habala Hamsan villages. Abha, which is the capital of Asir, is a highland province that includes the area of southwest Saudi Arabia close to the Yemen border.  

One of the most interesting aspects of the area is its distinctive local people—not least of which includes the colorful Flower Men of Tihama located in Habala. Built in the mountain cliffs, this small mountain village was originally inhabited by a tribal community known as ‘flower men’ because of their custom of wearing garlands of dried herbs and flowers in their hair. In years past, the village was only accessible by rope ladder.

In Asir, visit museums and a traditional village that has a replica of an Asir home. Lunch at a local restaurant in Bin Himsan Al Habala, the location of the first cable car in Asir, named after Al Habala. 

Later, visit Khamis Mushayt, a city about 25 km east of Abha. The city is known for it’s silver, spices, and traditional baskets, all of which you'll see during visits to various markets.

This evening, visit a typical Saudi home and see how families live while enjoying personal interactions with some wonderful local people.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Abha Palace (or similar)

Day 7: drive to al baha

Enjoy the landscapes during today's driveEnjoy the landscapes during today's drive

This morning drive 4.5 hours from Abha to Al Baha, an enchanting and naturally beautiful area situated in southwest Saudi Arabia with valleys, plains, mountains, waterfalls, forests and the coast.

Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the Zee Ain village. Zee Ain is a traditional village built on a mountain top, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sight. With mountains on three sides, it provided a spot safe from invasions. The houses here are built from polished stones, with two to four floors, and date back to the 10th century.

Later, enjoy dinner at a traditional restaurant, then settle into your hotel for the night.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Golden Tulip Qaser Al Baha (or similar)

Day 8: fly to al ula

Explore the old town of al-'UlaExplore the old town of al-'Ula

After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Al Ula (via a Jeddah connection), then transfer to your hotel.

Al Ula, located in the northwestern section of Saudi Arabia, was known as the incense route and was part of the network of routes that traded in spices, silk and other luxury items. It was the capital of the ancient Lihyanites and is well know for archeological remains, some more than 2000 years old. The area stands on the site of the biblical city of Dedan. Considered a ghost town, it is packed with a maze of 800 mud, brick and stone houses. These rarely visited ruins give you the opportunity to contemplate what life might have been like thousands of years ago.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Arac Hotel (or similar)

Day 9: madain saleh excursion

Nabatean Tombs at Madain SalehNabatean Tombs at Madain Saleh

Today spend more time visiting the ancient houses, then enjoy the museum in Al Ula. After, depart for an excursion to the archeological site of Madain Saleh, where you'll visit the Hijaz Railway Station, Nabatean Well, Qasr Al Bint, Diwan and Al Farid Palace.

Madain Saleh was known as “Al Hijr” in the ancient times and served as a stopover on a very prosperous trade route. Wadi Al Ula, the gateway to Madain Saleh, is known for its Lion of the Lihyanites—predecessors of the Natateans (100 to 500 BC). The two cities lie on 9 sq kms in an area of isolation, and constitute the kingdom's southernmost and largest settlement after Petra, its capital. 

Later, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Arac Hotel (or similar)

Day 10: fly to riyadh

Look for the elephant rockLook for the elephant rock

After some morning sightseeing, transfer to the airport for your flight to Riyadh. Upon arrival in Riyadh, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Holiday Inn Meydan (or similar)

Day 11: riyadh

Explore the Musmak FortExplore the Musmak Fort

Today is a full day to explore the city of Riyadh, the capital and most populated city in Saudi Arabia. Divided into 15 municipal districts, it is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to more than six million people.

In the morning visit Old Diriyah, the original capital city of Saudi Arabia dating back to the 9th century. This UNESCO sight recently underwent major renovations. Enjoy walking the old alleyways and seeing what life and architecture was like. 

Later, visit Musmak Fort, an important landmark built in 1865 that is the site where the Al Saud Dynasty began. The fort was built to serve as a military garrison for his army, which operated under a Governor in Riyadh from Hail. The fort was eventually captured by Ibn Saud on the 15th of January, 1902.

Enjoy lunch at Assaraya Turkish Restaurant in the National Museum, a place of learning and discovery, meant to kindle pride in the Arab heritage and reverence for Islam. This national landmark is composed of eight galleries that tell the complete story of Arabian history from the creation of the universe to our modern era.

Also visit Murabba Palace, which is among the most important palaces built by King Abdulaziz. Built in the year 1937 A.D. to accommodate his family, the palace was composed of a number of presidential areas and service buildings. It was built in the traditional Najid style, using only local building materials.

After, return to your hotel for your dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Holiday Inn Meydan (or similar)

Day 12: shagra & ushaiger excursions

Experience stunning UshaigerExperience stunning Ushaiger

Today explore the areas outside of Riyadh, with a drive to Shagra and Ushaiger, small villages 200 km northwest of Riyadh.

Ushaiger is one of the oldest towns in the Saudi region of Najd, and was a major stopping point for pilgrims coming from Kuwait, Iraq and Iran to perform Hajj. The historical village of Ushaiger is restored to preserve its heritage and has a museum which displays various relics and pieces from the village.

Continue to Shagra to visit the old walls that protected the city during attacks. It was built in the early 18th century and was in use until the mid-20th century.

After, return to Riyadh for your dinner and overnight. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Holiday Inn Meydan (or similar)

Day 13: depart

Say goodbye to Saudi ArabiaSay goodbye to Saudi Arabia

Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home. 

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$6,725
- $7,250
6-9 person - $7250 10 plus - $6725 The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$895
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Feb 8-20, 2018

Need to Know

When done correctly, a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a safe, eye-opening experience that provides insight into a culture that is vastly different than the culture of the United States. But before even considering joining this trip or visiting Saudi Arabia, you must be comfortable with a few ground rules: 

  • Saudi Arabia is a dry country and alcohol is absolutely forbidden (as are narcotics and pornographic materials).
  • Women should be prepared to wear abayas (full-length garments) at all times, which will be provided when you arrive in Saudi Arabia. However, women do NOT need to cover their heads or hair. 
  • Visitors will be fingerprinted and will undergo a retinal scan upon arrival in the country.
  • Most places shut down for prayers throughout the day, and especially between 12-3pm. Often you will be taken to your hotel during these hours for some free time. 
  • Authorities sometimes close sites or deny entrance to sites without advance warning.
Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Journeys International Announces New Trips for 2018

The year was 1978, and Drs. Will and Joan Weber set off to Nepal with a group of curious souls who wanted to be immersed in and enlightened by a different culture in a very different part …

The majestic ruins of Madain Saleh
The majestic ruins of Madain Saleh
See the old stone houses throughout the country
See the old stone houses throughout the country
Explore the ancient buildings on the Farasan Islands
Explore the ancient buildings on the Farasan Islands
Camels are a common site in Saudi Arabia
Camels are a common site in Saudi Arabia
Explore Musmak Fort near Riyadh
Explore Musmak Fort near Riyadh
Meet the friendly people of Saudi Arabia
Meet the friendly people of Saudi Arabia
Beautiful Farasan Islands will take your breath away
Beautiful Farasan Islands will take your breath away
Vibrant colors await at the markets
Vibrant colors await at the markets
See the petroglyphs with Nabatean inscriptions
See the petroglyphs with Nabatean inscriptions
Witness prayers five times each day
Witness prayers five times each day

Adventure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Jeddah, Jazan, Abha, Riyadh, and the Farasan Islands

overview

Journeys travelers are known for breaking barriers and exploring uncharted territory, so we weren't surprised when we started getting requests for a trip to Saudi Arabia, one of the most difficult places in the world to visit. What did surprise us, though, was the depth of exploration to be had in this previously impenetrable destination, and the openness of the guides to share their country and their stories with us. 

When done correctly, a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a safe, eye-opening experience that provides insight into a culture that is vastly different than the culture of the United States. But before even considering joining this trip or visiting Saudi Arabia, you must be comfortable with a few ground rules: 

  • Saudi Arabia is a dry country and alcohol is absolutely forbidden (as are narcotics and pornographic materials).
  • Women should be prepared to wear abayas (full-length garments) at all times, which will be provided when you arrive in Saudi Arabia. However, women do NOT need to cover their heads or hair. 
  • Visitors will be fingerprinted and will undergo a retinal scan upon arrival in the country.
  • Most places shut down for prayers throughout the day, especially between 12-3pm. Often you will be taken to your hotel during these hours for some free time. 
  • Authorities sometimes close sites or deny entrance to sites without advance warning.

If you're OK with these ground rules, then get ready for the cultural exchange of your life. Join a Journeys trip leader and our esteemed guide, Khaled EL Qahtani, as we get to know the fascinating archeology, rock art, geology, food, culture, history and hospitable people of Saudi Arabia. 

About your Guide

Khaled EL Qahtani was born in 1986 in Dhahran Al Janub (a small town in southern Saudi Arabia on the border of Yemen). Married and the father of three children, Khaled is the most coveted guide in the country, with many impressive credentials that make him the perfect guide for Journeys. He is the Vice Chairman of the advisory committee for tourist guides (SCTA—Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities), a Certified Trainer for Saudi Arabia guides (certified by WFTGA—World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations), and the 2011 winner of the Saudi Excellence in Tourism and Best Tour Guide awards. Plus, he has extensive knowledge of the Arabian Peninsula trade routes and what the stone carvings along these routes represent. And not only is he a wealth of information, his kindness and compassion always touch the souls of his travelers also.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Journeys travelers are known for breaking barriers and exploring uncharted territory, so we weren't surprised when we started getting requests for a trip to Saudi Arabia, one of the most difficult places in the world to visit. What did surprise us, though, was the depth of exploration to be had in this previously impenetrable destination, and the openness of the guides to share their country and their stories with us. 

When done correctly, a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a safe, eye-opening experience that provides insight into a culture that is vastly different than the culture of the United States. But before even considering joining this trip or visiting Saudi Arabia, you must be comfortable with a few ground rules: 

  • Saudi Arabia is a dry country and alcohol is absolutely forbidden (as are narcotics and pornographic materials).
  • Women should be prepared to wear abayas (full-length garments) at all times, which will be provided when you arrive in Saudi Arabia. However, women do NOT need to cover their heads or hair. 
  • Visitors will be fingerprinted and will undergo a retinal scan upon arrival in the country.
  • Most places shut down for prayers throughout the day, especially between 12-3pm. Often you will be taken to your hotel during these hours for some free time. 
  • Authorities sometimes close sites or deny entrance to sites without advance warning.

If you're OK with these ground rules, then get ready for the cultural exchange of your life. Join a Journeys trip leader and our esteemed guide, Khaled EL Qahtani, as we get to know the fascinating archeology, rock art, geology, food, culture, history and hospitable people of Saudi Arabia. 

About your Guide

Khaled EL Qahtani was born in 1986 in Dhahran Al Janub (a small town in southern Saudi Arabia on the border of Yemen). Married and the father of three children, Khaled is the most coveted guide in the country, with many impressive credentials that make him the perfect guide for Journeys. He is the Vice Chairman of the advisory committee for tourist guides (SCTA—Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities), a Certified Trainer for Saudi Arabia guides (certified by WFTGA—World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations), and the 2011 winner of the Saudi Excellence in Tourism and Best Tour Guide awards. Plus, he has extensive knowledge of the Arabian Peninsula trade routes and what the stone carvings along these routes represent. And not only is he a wealth of information, his kindness and compassion always touch the souls of his travelers also.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive jeddah
    Welcome to Saudi Arabia!Welcome to Saudi Arabia!

    Upon arrival in Jeddah, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for your overnight.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Red Sea Palace (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: jeddah
    See the Nasif House in JeddahSee the Nasif House in Jeddah

    Jeddah, located on the coast of the Red Sea, is the major urban center of Western Saudi Arabia. It is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital of Riyadh, and is considered the most open city in the country. Jeddah is the gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, and is one of the country's primary resort towns. Fishing and seafood dominate the food culture. 

    This morning, visit some of the old Ottoman houses, mostly constructed from coral and reinforced with wood so that beams crisscross the interior walls. You'll see the most beautiful and well-known of these—the Nasif House—which was built during the 1850s by the well-known Nasif Family, one of the most influential trading families in the history of Jeddah. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the house was one of the most important buildings in Jeddah. It was here that King Abdul Aziz spent his first night in Jeddah, as the guest of Mohammed Nasif, after he led his victorious army into the capital of the Western Province.

    Next, visit Altaybat International City for Sciences and Knowledge, a very beautiful museum that houses endless collections of arts, ethnography and archeology artifacts. After a lunch at a local restaurant, continue with a visit to the Abdul Rauf Khalil Art Museum, and a stop at the corniche of Jeddah (sea-side promenade), a major attraction that acts as a gathering place for locals as well as an open air museum displaying an array of modern sculptures.

    Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Red Sea Palace (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: fly to jazan
    Drive through the Fifa MountainsDrive through the Fifa Mountains

    In the morning, head to the airport for your flight to Jazan, where upon arrival you'll enjoy a scenic drive through the al Fifa Mountains via a 4x4 vehicle.

    This mountainous region, which has many nicknames including "Heavens of the Earth," is known to charm visitors with its stunning landscape and fertile, green flora—one of the most fertile places in all of Saudi Arabia. Mountains range in height from 3,000 to 6,500 feet, and stretch for many miles. They are especially attractive to photographers who will appreciate their greenery shrouded with fog, creating great landscape photo opportunities. 

    After, return to Jazan which is situated in the southwestern region of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, a stones throw away form the border of Yemen. Like Jeddah, it is situated on the Red Sea Coast. 

    Visit the Heritage Village, a refurbished village that features the heritage, culture, lifestyle, and cuisine of the people from 13 regions of the Jazan Province. The village combines the authenticity of traditions with the nobility of the present. Visitors can experience the handicrafts section, which displays a variety of handmade items. 

    After, enjoy dinner and a good night's sleep at your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Radison Blu (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: day trip to farasan islands
    Pristine coastline of the islandsPristine coastline of the islands

    Today, depart early via ferry for a full-day visit to the Farasan Islands. The islands—over 100 altogether—make up Saudi Arabia's first natural protected area. This is a popular getaway spot for locals, with pristine beaches everywhere you look. The islands serve as a breeding ground for a large number of migratory birds, and are a nature reserve for Arabian gazelles.

    In the late afternoon, return to Jazan for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Radison Blu (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: drive to abha
    Purchase handicrafts at the marketPurchase handicrafts at the market

    Depart from Jazan for a three-hour drive to Abha. On arrival, visit the market where you can purchase local handicrafts. Also spend time at the nearby Al-Muftaha village, where you can see the stone houses common in this region.

    In the afternoon, return to your hotel for your overnight. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Abha Palace (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: abha
    Inside a traditional Saudi homeInside a traditional Saudi home

    Today is a full day of exploring the region around Abha, with visits to Khamis Mushayt and the Habala Hamsan villages. Abha, which is the capital of Asir, is a highland province that includes the area of southwest Saudi Arabia close to the Yemen border.  

    One of the most interesting aspects of the area is its distinctive local people—not least of which includes the colorful Flower Men of Tihama located in Habala. Built in the mountain cliffs, this small mountain village was originally inhabited by a tribal community known as ‘flower men’ because of their custom of wearing garlands of dried herbs and flowers in their hair. In years past, the village was only accessible by rope ladder.

    In Asir, visit museums and a traditional village that has a replica of an Asir home. Lunch at a local restaurant in Bin Himsan Al Habala, the location of the first cable car in Asir, named after Al Habala. 

    Later, visit Khamis Mushayt, a city about 25 km east of Abha. The city is known for it’s silver, spices, and traditional baskets, all of which you'll see during visits to various markets.

    This evening, visit a typical Saudi home and see how families live while enjoying personal interactions with some wonderful local people.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Abha Palace (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: drive to al baha
    Enjoy the landscapes during today's driveEnjoy the landscapes during today's drive

    This morning drive 4.5 hours from Abha to Al Baha, an enchanting and naturally beautiful area situated in southwest Saudi Arabia with valleys, plains, mountains, waterfalls, forests and the coast.

    Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the Zee Ain village. Zee Ain is a traditional village built on a mountain top, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sight. With mountains on three sides, it provided a spot safe from invasions. The houses here are built from polished stones, with two to four floors, and date back to the 10th century.

    Later, enjoy dinner at a traditional restaurant, then settle into your hotel for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Golden Tulip Qaser Al Baha (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: fly to al ula
    Explore the old town of al-'UlaExplore the old town of al-'Ula

    After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Al Ula (via a Jeddah connection), then transfer to your hotel.

    Al Ula, located in the northwestern section of Saudi Arabia, was known as the incense route and was part of the network of routes that traded in spices, silk and other luxury items. It was the capital of the ancient Lihyanites and is well know for archeological remains, some more than 2000 years old. The area stands on the site of the biblical city of Dedan. Considered a ghost town, it is packed with a maze of 800 mud, brick and stone houses. These rarely visited ruins give you the opportunity to contemplate what life might have been like thousands of years ago.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Arac Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: madain saleh excursion
    Nabatean Tombs at Madain SalehNabatean Tombs at Madain Saleh

    Today spend more time visiting the ancient houses, then enjoy the museum in Al Ula. After, depart for an excursion to the archeological site of Madain Saleh, where you'll visit the Hijaz Railway Station, Nabatean Well, Qasr Al Bint, Diwan and Al Farid Palace.

    Madain Saleh was known as “Al Hijr” in the ancient times and served as a stopover on a very prosperous trade route. Wadi Al Ula, the gateway to Madain Saleh, is known for its Lion of the Lihyanites—predecessors of the Natateans (100 to 500 BC). The two cities lie on 9 sq kms in an area of isolation, and constitute the kingdom's southernmost and largest settlement after Petra, its capital. 

    Later, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Arac Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: fly to riyadh
    Look for the elephant rockLook for the elephant rock

    After some morning sightseeing, transfer to the airport for your flight to Riyadh. Upon arrival in Riyadh, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Holiday Inn Meydan (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: riyadh
    Explore the Musmak FortExplore the Musmak Fort

    Today is a full day to explore the city of Riyadh, the capital and most populated city in Saudi Arabia. Divided into 15 municipal districts, it is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to more than six million people.

    In the morning visit Old Diriyah, the original capital city of Saudi Arabia dating back to the 9th century. This UNESCO sight recently underwent major renovations. Enjoy walking the old alleyways and seeing what life and architecture was like. 

    Later, visit Musmak Fort, an important landmark built in 1865 that is the site where the Al Saud Dynasty began. The fort was built to serve as a military garrison for his army, which operated under a Governor in Riyadh from Hail. The fort was eventually captured by Ibn Saud on the 15th of January, 1902.

    Enjoy lunch at Assaraya Turkish Restaurant in the National Museum, a place of learning and discovery, meant to kindle pride in the Arab heritage and reverence for Islam. This national landmark is composed of eight galleries that tell the complete story of Arabian history from the creation of the universe to our modern era.

    Also visit Murabba Palace, which is among the most important palaces built by King Abdulaziz. Built in the year 1937 A.D. to accommodate his family, the palace was composed of a number of presidential areas and service buildings. It was built in the traditional Najid style, using only local building materials.

    After, return to your hotel for your dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Holiday Inn Meydan (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: shagra & ushaiger excursions
    Experience stunning UshaigerExperience stunning Ushaiger

    Today explore the areas outside of Riyadh, with a drive to Shagra and Ushaiger, small villages 200 km northwest of Riyadh.

    Ushaiger is one of the oldest towns in the Saudi region of Najd, and was a major stopping point for pilgrims coming from Kuwait, Iraq and Iran to perform Hajj. The historical village of Ushaiger is restored to preserve its heritage and has a museum which displays various relics and pieces from the village.

    Continue to Shagra to visit the old walls that protected the city during attacks. It was built in the early 18th century and was in use until the mid-20th century.

    After, return to Riyadh for your dinner and overnight. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Holiday Inn Meydan (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: depart
    Say goodbye to Saudi ArabiaSay goodbye to Saudi Arabia

    Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home. 

    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$6,725
- $7,250
6-9 person - $7250 10 plus - $6725 The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$895
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Feb 8-20, 2018

Need to Know

When done correctly, a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a safe, eye-opening experience that provides insight into a culture that is vastly different than the culture of the United States. But before even considering joining this trip or visiting Saudi Arabia, you must be comfortable with a few ground rules: 

  • Saudi Arabia is a dry country and alcohol is absolutely forbidden (as are narcotics and pornographic materials).
  • Women should be prepared to wear abayas (full-length garments) at all times, which will be provided when you arrive in Saudi Arabia. However, women do NOT need to cover their heads or hair. 
  • Visitors will be fingerprinted and will undergo a retinal scan upon arrival in the country.
  • Most places shut down for prayers throughout the day, and especially between 12-3pm. Often you will be taken to your hotel during these hours for some free time. 
  • Authorities sometimes close sites or deny entrance to sites without advance warning.
Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

×

Download Trip Itinerary

Subscribe me to The Bird's Nest (the Journeys blog)
Please tell us specifically the name of the website, publication or friend, or 'other' place where you heard about us.
× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
Share